Patch in butcher block top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Patch in butcher block top

We recently overhauled our kitchen a bit, & one of the changes was installing a walnut butcher block top on the island. (History: Originally, one end of the island had a lower height wine rack cabinet, which we had no use for, so I built a full height cabinet with shelves, & replaced the 2 pieces of granite with the full length walnut top)

The top arrived from the manufacturer with a small defect that had been filled in with some sort of whitish epoxy, glue, or whatever. Not a big deal, but I'd like to make it less noticeable.

I'm familiar with mixing sawdust with glue, CA, etc., to fill such defects, and I've also thought of cutting a small chip of walnut to glue into the hole (after digging out the current filler). I also have a supply of various colors of stick shellac that can be melted into such defects as a filler.

Just wondering if anyone has any firsthand experience with a similar problem, & what worked for you. I have pieces of walnut I can practice on, so I suppose I could just try all of the above & see what works, but I always like to know if I may be overlooking something better.

Pictures of the island & defect are attached. The filled area is about 1/2"-3/4" long.
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 09:41 AM
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Use one of these kits with a router and a template

https://www.infinitytools.com/brass-routing-guides

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-7110...6&s=hi&sr=1-58

I'm not recommending either of these as there are other sources for both, but providing them to give you an idea of what can be done. Using these you can rout a cavity in your walnut and also rout a matching piece that fits in the cavity from another piece of walnut. Then glue in the piece, sand it smooth, and you will have a nice neat patch with only the glue line around it visible. They make many different shaped templates to use with these bits and bushings, even teddy bears, etc. Normally, a contrasting wood is used so the inlay is very visible, but it doesn't need to be.

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post #3 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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Steve,
You could route a shallow slot and inlay a replacement.
Could you could flip and use the other side?
You could rip out the bad section and re glue.
You could contact the maker for replacement.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 10:41 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it, it is unlikely you can make a repair that will be less noticeable. Maybe try to darken the spot so the white isn't as noticeable.

Is the dog an Aussie?
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't worry about it, it is unlikely you can make a repair that will be less noticeable. Maybe try to darken the spot so the white isn't as noticeable.

Is the dog an Aussie?
Leaving it & disguising it a bit may be the best approach. I thought of maybe carefully spot sanding the existing patch material to rough it up a bit & putting some stain or dye on it to darken it. Easy enough to try as a first attempt.

The dog in the pic is a Shetland Sheepdog; one of 2 that currently own us. We had a 3rd, Max, who we lost about a year ago. My wife does obedience training & competition with them, & is currently "shopping" for another one.
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 12:11 PM
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just did this several months ago. customer bought one 7' from ikea with defects. I ran it on the table saw with dado blade and cut out imperfection, cutting a 1/4" deep x 3/4" wide groove entire length. glued in a filler strip and sanded down. could only be noticed from the end.


short of that, the shellac sticks work very well for color match, but not so much on the surface sheen.
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 03:18 PM
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It might be just as easy to simply rip the top along the joint (and lose about 1/8" of material. And then re-glue. Since the both blocks were cut from the opposite sides of the same blade, they will glue up perfectly. It sounds like less work than patching. I don't know if 1/8" kerf will remove all of the blemish however.

The length of the defect is of no issue with this method; only the width.

Just two steps: Rip and glue. And no special skills required. (Clamps will be required however).
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 06:20 PM
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Why did you accept it with the defect?
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post #9 of 24 Old 04-16-2019, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevedore View Post
... Just wondering if anyone has any firsthand experience with a similar problem, & what worked for you. I have pieces of walnut I can practice on, so I suppose I could just try all of the above & see what works, but I always like to know if I may be overlooking something better....
Hi Steve,

Fair amount of experience in this...both modern methods and more germane (I would suggest better!?) traditional methods...

This is a common repare (both big and small) with historic (100 to 300 plus year old) butcher blocks and related abattoir tables of various sorts...

Its actually not that hard to do just with hand tool rather quickly...and I would suggest and offer...very satisfying work also...These repairs can become very "artistic" in nature and actually enhance a project rather than detract from it. This type of work is akin to:
金継ぎ ("Kintsugi")
These are the most common modalities I employ. They can be found in most cultures that work with wood and just go by different nomenclature...but with the same goals and outcome...

If interested in trying a more traditional repair, I would be glad to expand on some basic methods to try? If not, just gluing in a chip will get you using the board....

Good Luck,

j
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-17-2019, 01:50 AM
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It's a small enough piece that you could easily chisel it out and glue in a patch. You do not need to buy templates, etc. That's absurd, IMO. If you want to use a router, just set up a edge guide and stop with a straight bit and cut a small notch, then square the corners and make a plug to match it. Or leave it rounded and round the patch to fit. It's all pretty simple.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-17-2019, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
It's a small enough piece that you could easily chisel it out and glue in a patch. You do not need to buy templates, etc. That's absurd, IMO. If you want to use a router, just set up a edge guide and stop with a straight bit and cut a small notch, then square the corners and make a plug to match it. Or leave it rounded and round the patch to fit. It's all pretty simple.

I agree with you. It's a repair, not the restoration of Notre Dame.

Forstner bit. Round hole. Plug in hole.

Never underestimate the ability of people to overcomplicate, confuse, and make a simple task difficult.


In addition, mmwood, I went to your website. Your musical book shelves piece is stunning. Well-done, sir.

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post #12 of 24 Old 04-17-2019, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevedore View Post
We recently overhauled our kitchen a bit, & one of the changes was installing a walnut butcher block top on the island. (History: Originally, one end of the island had a lower height wine rack cabinet, which we had no use for, so I built a full height cabinet with shelves, & replaced the 2 pieces of granite with the full length walnut top)

The top arrived from the manufacturer with a small defect that had been filled in with some sort of whitish epoxy, glue, or whatever. Not a big deal, but I'd like to make it less noticeable.

I'm familiar with mixing sawdust with glue, CA, etc., to fill such defects, and I've also thought of cutting a small chip of walnut to glue into the hole (after digging out the current filler). I also have a supply of various colors of stick shellac that can be melted into such defects as a filler.

Just wondering if anyone has any firsthand experience with a similar problem, & what worked for you. I have pieces of walnut I can practice on, so I suppose I could just try all of the above & see what works, but I always like to know if I may be overlooking something better.

Pictures of the island & defect are attached. The filled area is about 1/2"-3/4" long.
With that kind of defect and repair I would be inclined to send it back unless you have cut it.

A burn-in would probably be the easiest fix aesthetically but I'm sure you know the sticks are as brittle as glass. If you are going to use the butcher block it won't last long.

Another option would be to mask off the area around the spot and dig out as much as the white as you can and mix some walnut sawdust with some clearer epoxy and fill the void. Since it has had epoxy on it already wood glue wouldn't adhere unless you dig further down until you reach raw wood.
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-17-2019, 02:04 PM
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In all probability nobody will notice it unless you point it out, it can be repaired, you have got lots of suggestions, you could also be opening up a can of worms if the repair goes wrong.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-17-2019, 08:00 PM
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As others have said, there are a ton of fixes, from very simple to probably too complex. The first thing I would do is probably find a dark brown sharpie and see how well that blended. Then I would chip it out with a chisel and fill it with walnut sawdust and glue. Then you just have to avoid mentioning it to anyone, and the 1 in 100 people who do notice it probably won't mention it to you!

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post #15 of 24 Old 04-18-2019, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks for the comments & suggestions. I'm thinking I'll practice on a scrap of walnut & try the sawdust/glue fix. I'd agree that the defect isn't all that noticeable, and as it turns out, our blender generally sits over it. I think the sawdust filler will make it enough less noticebale so I'll forget it's there.

Thanks again.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-18-2019, 07:05 PM
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A furniture refinisher would make that disappear in a heart beat.
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post #17 of 24 Old 04-18-2019, 08:06 PM
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A furniture refinisher would make that disappear in a heart beat.

So, how's it done by a furniture refinisher?

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post #18 of 24 Old 04-19-2019, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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A furniture refinisher would make that disappear in a heart beat.
Very helpful; thanks so much.
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-19-2019, 09:32 AM
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Some skill(s) required .....

Obviously it bothers you enough to want to "fix" it, so let's assume you have a critical eye and or a desire for "perfection". This is what you need for a DIY repair, in addition to some hand carving skills.



If this were mine, a would create/carve a shallow concave area that removes all the previous material but has a simple oval shape. Then find a matching color and grain scrap to insert into the cavity..... that won't be easy. You will have to shape the "plug" inverted using your best eyeball and possibly some chalk to mark the high spots. You could make a wax casting of the shape to get a better idea what it looks like.


You could also "design" your patch to resemble a knot, a bit darker in color and straight on one side like the adjoining board. Instead of one fill application, use several of increasing color from dark to light.... some artistic skill required.


I don't a furniture refinisher would be cost effective, unless a good friend or relative.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-19-2019, 06:56 PM
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So, how's it done by a furniture refinisher?




They use lacquer and when the repair is finished , i doubt you or anyone else will find the repair.
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